Nice Guy Unfairly Gets The Proverbial Groin Kick

— Social Media Algorithms Need a Solid Human Back-Up!

I’ve been polite on the Internet since AOL 1.5 and Netscape 2.0. I’m a veteran of AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, Dogpile, Metacrawler and Yahoo search engines. Under the moniker PartyTime, I created and hosted the Internet’s first large substantive anti-war debate on Silicon Investor.com, a stock investment forum; and I once held the email address: PartyTime@RagingBull.com, another stock investment forum. SI and RB were the first Internet discussion sites, well before Facebook, Twitter and the others.

Indeed, I’ve been around the Internet block. I’ve always been friendly and respectful over Internet dialogue and debate. Since 1995, I’ve seen a lot and I’ve written a lot on the Internet. Possessing a typing ability in excess of 100 wpm, I’m likely in the extreme top tier of those who’ve written and typed the most words on the Internet.

Despite my strong proclivity for politics, I am also proud that of all the words I’ve written on the Internet, I am the one who has sworn the least, I am the one who has threatened nobody ever for anything and that I am the one who has always advocated peace, love and understanding. I’ve been thrilled when it comes to sound intellectual discourse.

Beyond the above, I always send out happy birthday messages:

I send out congratulations when a friend wins a sports tournament or a league trophy, or when one gets married, has an anniversary or their child graduates from high school or college. I always deliver a special message:

When a friend becomes sick or has an accident I always make a point to deliver well wishes:

When I know someone who is up for a new job or trying to get an acting role or join a new band, I always wish my friend good luck:

And, sadly, when a friend passes into the heaven of it all I do my best to send sympathy wishes:

In short, I’m exactly the kind of person Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube really needs and should desire. I’ve always been respectful of everyone and I’ve done my level best to make my profile pages seem like a social magazine where environment, music, science, arts, culture and politics are genuinely highlighted. There exists no drama, no gossip, no threats — no hated of any kind on my page. It is conscientious and peaceful!

So after expressing all of the above care and concern for decades on the Internet — especially on Facebook — recently in the middle of a deep political conversation with a longtime friend, ironically a conversation about banning speech that had become over two dozen messages long, I got hit by Facebook with a restrictive warning for hate speech. For intellectual purposes only, I publish the post FB targeted as deserving of their warning. I wrote:

How absurd for Ukraine, a nation located directly next to Russia, to ban by law the speaking of the Russian language in Ukraine. I suspect Ukrainians are as dumb as many Americans! Makes one wonder and scratch the head with a comment: Whose side am I on?

Of course, I appealed the FB finding. However, the automatic response to my appeal notice was: Due to Covid the FB staff is restricted and can’t respond to every appeal so FB might not be able to respond to your appeal.

In other words, the warning sticks — there’s nothing you can do about it!

Many of you have known me for a very long time. Do I now or have I ever appeared to any of you as a hateful person, one who would promulgate hate speech? Many of you would recognize that I’ve dedicated my entire life to fighting against hate speech and many other good causes, that I hold standards of principle.

All my adult life I’ve been a pacifist vehemently opposed to war. I was honorably discharged from the military as a conscientious objector. I once served in a state legislature and ran for Congress. I have hotly debated all kinds of controversial issues in all kinds of public forums. Moreover, I’ve created, hosted and moderated dozens of social media posting sites on all kinds of subjects.

Does my message that promulgated the FB warning appear at all hateful? Worse, will I receive a secondary FB warning for writing this particular criticism?

Let’s examine my post:

Could it actually be sensible of me to call Americans and Ukrainians “dumb” for building Ukraine’s military into the 2nd largest military at the same time Ukraine was economically the poorest of all European nations? Could it also be sensible for me to express my opposition over Ukraine’s legislative attempt to ban speaking Russian? Indeed, did I meet the strict definitional criteria — especially in the context of the whole thread conversation I was having with my friend — for labeling something as dumb? You bet I did — in context, my criticism was just and spot on!

Sidenote: In this same FB conversation, FB also outright removed a post where I cited RT as a reference source. So not only did I — a lifelong political lefty — receive a warning, I also had the intellectually-referenced RT material post outright removed despite its intellectual contribution.

The larger issue here is not what I did. Intellectually, I didn’t do nuthin’ wrong!

The larger issue is what Facebook did.

I knew the moment rightwinger Alex Jones got censored on social media there would be trouble in the upcoming censorship mill. Except for America being the world’s top imprisoner and his positions on the drug war, there is hardly anything where my views and the views of Jones are in agreement. But I defend his right not to become banned for content of speech.

I had many long debates with my liberal friends over Jones, most of whom favored banning the in-your-face neghead blowhard. I always contended lefties would be hurt the most by his banishment, that the slippery slopes of censorship would ultimately creep up to target and overwhelm the political left.

Why?

Because lefties have been locked out of the prime of politics since JFK was shot! Lefties are easy targets for censorship. Few will defend them, the case of Julian Assange being a primetime example.

The below chart on presidencies is telling:

Be weary my friends. Democrats with neocons backing them are not like the Democrats who once defended Daniel Ellsberg and who once highlighted or opposed the military industrial complex. Those kind of Democrats pretty much died off in the aftermath of the Paul Wellstone plane crash and after Jesse Jackson’s last campaign. Bernie Sanders never stood a chance.

The modern day Obama-Clinton-Biden Democrats are more likely to rely upon deep state elements to fine-tune scheme of censorship. Interestingly, the US and UK have become a Marvel Villain Team-Up on the issue of censorship and media control.

We need to work hard to eliminate Republicanism, its Trumpist element and restore Democrats back into becoming strong anti-war, pro-union and united in the call for economic equality. America needs universal health insurance, free education, greater worker protections, environmental consciousness, gun controls and an end to the death penalty.

Today, we need FDR and JFK Democrats, not the modern media-supported, neocon backed Dem brand that prevails today. Vote way left my friends. Way-way left!

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Michael Weddle

Founder of Boston’s Climate Change Band; former NH State Representative; Created Internet’s 1st Anti-War Debate; Supporter of Bernie Sanders & Standing Rock!